My friends, if you’re looking for a fun weekend ride and have Memorial weekend free, you have to do the Horsey Hundred at least once. There’s plenty of up for the mountain goats, lots of down for the speed freaks, and enough routes that anyone can pick two (one for Saturday and one for Sunday) and enjoy themselves. The distances range from 35 to 100 miles on Saturday and 25 to 75 miles on Sunday (we do the 100 and the 53). Breakfasts and dinner on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday are included and decent.
This year didn’t turn out as I envisioned it would. My buddy, Mike, my wife and I ended up off the back after fifteen miles or so and Mike wasn’t doing well. It was supposed to be hot and cloudy with a very good chance of rain on Saturday. It was hot and amazingly sunny without a drop, and Mike was suffering. We ended up skipping a couple of rest stops and, pulling into the 35-ish mile stop Mike announced he was cutting his ride short… My wife was on the edge too, so she urged me to go on with a couple of friends we’d been riding with when we caught them at the rest stop. I skipped my second stop in a row and rolled out to catch them (they’d pulled out while my back was turned and my wife and I were discussing the situation – I wanted my hundred, my wife, not so much). I had to burn a pack of matches to catch them but I made it to them within a few miles.
From that point my ride got a lot more enjoyable, and faster. The oppressive heat and sun were almost too much at times. I refueled and drank wisely but it was impossible to keep up. Mike S. and I (another Mike we were riding with) ended up pulling Dave, who is normally a diesel that we’d prefer to throw a leash around, but he was having trouble with a pedal – he’d blown the bearings out of his left spd.
My wife, God bless her, after getting done with her 83 with Mike, back-tracked the course and met me with eight miles to go and Mike, Dave, my wife and I all rode in together. Thankfully, I’d picked up her Hundred pin at the Castle stop (there is a castle in Kentucky that used to belong to Lee Majors – the bionic man) because she ended up with 101 miles on the day. Where this gets good for us isn’t only the riding, which is fantastic on spectacular Tour de France quality asphalt, it’s the camaraderie. Several of us went out for first dinner at a Chick-fil-a walking distance from our hotel. We laughed about Dave’s pedal fortune and the lucky stroke that the repair stand had a used pair of pedals to sell him so he could ride the second day. Then we all got together for second dinner and the laughs were awesome. Then we got together again, later that evening for ice cream. The best way to do the HH weekend is with a bunch of friends.
Sunday’s ride was even better. There was still plenty of up, which you’d expect from a ride in Kentucky, but there are more rollers than climbs. Our pace was a lively 18 mph at the 30 mile rest stop. My buddy, Mike had split earlier for the 35 mile route, and one look at my wife’s face while we were refueling, I knew we were going to back it off considerably for the last 23 miles. I explained to my buddies that we were going to ease off the back and enjoy our ride home, to go on without us.
The next 23 were some of the best I’d ever ridden with my wife – possibly some of the more enjoyable I’ve ridden – ever. I pulled for most of it, but I knew exactly the pace my wife needed to make it and we settled in for the push home. We ended up with a 17.3 average to my computer, so we weren’t that much slower than the previous 30 but we didn’t have to burn a bunch of matches to make the climbs, we just did our thing.
So, back home for the Holiday. I’ve got a 50 miler planned for this morning followed by spending the day at a friend’s house on the lake for some swimming – it’s going to be a scorcher today. Through yesterday’s ride, that was 264 miles for the week and 1,034 miles for the month… and not a bad one among them.
Ride hard my friends.